South East Wales

Escort girlfriend 'wanted to fleece' killer millionaire

Georgina Symonds and Peter Morgan Image copyright Wales News Service

A millionaire businessman who killed his escort girlfriend heard how she had bragged she would "fleece him", a murder trial has been told.

Peter Morgan, 54, of Llanellen, Monmouthshire, is accused of strangling Georgina Symonds, 25, in January 2016.

The father-of-two admits killing Miss Symonds but denies it was murder.

Newport Crown Court was told he had bugged her home, overhearing how she wanted to "do him over" for his money.

"I listened to her several times a day through a listening device. It was disguised as an adaptor. I put it in her lounge," he told police, in a filmed interview played to the jury on Monday.

The court has heard how Mr Morgan paid Miss Symonds, from the Allt-yr-yn area of Newport, up to £10,000-a-month to be his personal escort.

The former burlesque dancer had been living at a bungalow at Pencoed Castle, in Llanmartin, owned by Mr Morgan.

He had promised to sign it over to her as part of a divorce settlement.

Mr Morgan told detectives: "She was on the phone to someone and said as soon as the bungalow was put in her name she was going to London and start escorting again and would do me over.

"She said she wished I killed myself so she'd get the bungalow to herself."

Image caption Georgina Symonds had been living in a bungalow at Pencoed Castle when she was killed

An exchange of text messages between Mr Morgan and Miss Symonds were also read out in court.

The jury heard thousands of messages were recovered from Miss Symonds' device, sent in the months leading up to her death.

In one message she wrote: "Feeling down, need cheering up."

Mr Morgan replied: "No problem hun."

She wrote back: "I don't want lots, just to be treated," followed by "don't forget to give me my dollar today".

The trial heard earlier that the property tycoon planned to split his £20m empire when he divorced his wife "to be with her".

"I love George. I gave everything up for her. I've been married for 22 years so I gave up my marriage for her," he said.

He has admitted strangling the mother-of-one with baling twine from his farm, then wrapping her body in black plastic and hiding her in a workshop behind his farmhouse.

But he has denied murder because of diminished responsibility due to Asperger's syndrome.

The trial is continuing.

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